RE: Beta version of Unibook 5.1

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Apr 11 2007 - 20:00:29 CST

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    There are so many tweaks in the program to handle the layout and font
    selection that it is probably better to start a new project for MacOSX with
    similar features.
    The specific part is not in the visible GUI interface, which could be easily
    reproduced, but in the background implementation of the GUI which will be
    very different; you'll also have to port the selection of fonts because
    Windows fonts are not portable due to licencing (using them on Linux or
    MacOSX is a licence abuse, as they are only licenced by Microsoft to Windows
    users for use in Windows on a single machine, unless you have a Microsoft
    licence for those fonts on MacOSX with a Microsoft product like Office).
    For the rest, you'll need to select other core fonts from the Apple MacOSX
    platform, licenced by Apple, or fonts from your Linux distributions.

    And no, MacOSX is NOT Linux; it just uses a kernel derived from BSD, but all
    the GUI part is different from other Unix/Linux distributions.
    There exists some libraries that will help you develop such "portable"
    application between Unix, BSD, Linux and MacOSX but it is well known that
    portability with Windows requires specific support. For now, one of the best
    portability libraries that work in all environments are found in Qt, but Qt
    really is bogous when handling Unicode (notably the Bidirectionality, and
    supplementary characters out of the BMP), and lots of extra-development is

    The other solution would be to use an HTML renderer in your application
    (building the application with HTML layout and CSS properties), but here
    also you'll have to tweak the CSS properties. But this would all easier
    porting of the application code running basically like a web server. If this
    was so easy, we would already have an online website showing the Unibook!
    The problem here will be to handle the various web browser engines (but you
    can build a standalone application based on a builtin web component like the
    Gecko renderer from Mozilla).

    If you don't like HTML, you may as well program such application using a
    builtin/embedded Flash component (which is based on SVG, XML, CSS and
    Javascript), which would be easy for MacOSX, but difficult for Unix/Linux
    where Flash support is minimalist.

    > -----Message d'origine-----
    > De : [] De la
    > part de Marnen Laibow-Koser
    > Envoyé : mardi 10 avril 2007 20:04
    > À : Unicode Mailing List
    > Objet : Re: Beta version of Unibook 5.1
    > On Apr 10, 2007, at 1:21 PM, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    > [...]
    > > Asmus may well respond with more details, but I can assure you
    > > that the answer is no. Unibook has a long history of development,
    > > but it is very, very Windows-specific, and there is zero chance
    > > that it could be ported to Linux.
    > That's a shame. What's worse is that (judging only from the
    > description on the website) there's no reason that such a program
    > should be so non-portable -- there's nothing inherently Windows-
    > specific mentioned in the feature set. Also, Mac OS X probably has
    > the best Unicode support of any OS out there (and Apple Computer has
    > been an active participant in the Consortium, IIRC), and most Linuxes
    > aren't far behind, so it seems ironic that Unibook won't run on these
    > operating systems.
    > Frankly, keeping Unibook non-portable seems to go against the Unicode
    > philosophy of inclusion and accessibility. I hope that future
    > versions of Unibook will be developed in a more portable way, or that
    > a similar tool will be developed for non-Windows operating systems.

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